IT IS TIME FOR THE THIRD!
I want to let you in on something that I pray, we as a church, position our hearts toward this coming weekend. As we gather for our Christmas Eve celebration services, we are going to observe the 3rd! I know we will be thinking about the birth we celebrate on the 25th of our Lord; but we will worship by observing the 3rd! Did you know the Old Testament has three different types of specific giving it calls people to? It is so important for OUR CHURCH SPECIFICALLY to look at this teaching right now from the book of Deuteronomy. There is a very specific way that God told his people to give in the Torah. The Old Testament isn’t less true because Jesus came! Jesus fulfills the Old Testament and we see the character of God and the plan for Christ through the Old Testament.
The Old Testament records these three types of giving:
A Tithe to the temple
- This is a tithe to given to the Levites to care for them and to run the ministry of the temple of the Lord.
- Deuteronomy 18:21 “…to the Levites I have given every tithe in Israel for an inheritance, in return for their service that they do, their service in the tent of meeting.”
A Tithe to the Festival
- I know, it sounds like I am making this up but God’s Word is awesome and true and has great purpose! This year, we enlarged our Festival called ‘Trinity Fest’. A tithe to the Festival comes straight from His Word and is His plan for His glory. It is actually commanded by Him, that a separate initiative of giving should happen to have a festival that celebrated Him. The tithe commanded, that is actually called the ‘Festival Tithe’, can be found and practiced just as we did in the Old Testament.
- Deuteronomy 14:22-26 Be sure to set aside a tenth of all that your fields produce each year. Eat the tithe of your grain . . . in the presence of the Lord your God at the place he will choose as a dwelling for his Name, so that you may learn to revere the Lord your God always. . . . Then you and your household shall eat there in the presence of the Lord your God and rejoice.”
- I had the fun opportunity to serve greeting people at the entrance as cars were being parked. One of the common things I heard was, “Can non-members of your church come to this festival?” I literally got choked up a number of times at this question! Has the enemy so distorted the view of God’s instrument for light in the dark world that people would think we would have a ‘Members-Only Party’? As thousands of North Tampa people walked on the property of our Trinity Campus this fall, the message was LOUD & CLEAR to our community: YOU ARE WELCOME HERE! Come with us and give Glory to the God of the harvest! Trinity Fest was a festival to His Glory!
A Tithe to the Poor
- Deuteronomy 14:28a-29 . . . bring all the tithes of that year’s produce and store it in your towns, so that the Levites (who have no allotment or inheritance of their own) and the foreigners, the fatherless and the widows who live in your towns may come and eat and be satisfied, and so that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hands.
- It’s time to obey the 3rd tithe. We will be honoring the commandment to this tithe during our Christmas celebrations this year. What better way to honor the humility in which Christ came to experience our condition, than to give to those among us who are in need?
- We will be listing many of our trusted local community ministry partners in the Christmas Eve Celebration Bulletin this coming week. We ask that, as a family, you prayerfully consider helping us help those who need it most in the name of Christ Jesus our Lord.
100% of the funds collected at our offering time during the Christmas Eve services will be given to GCC Outreach Ministry Partners.
We hope that you will join us at one of our Eve Services.
Dec 23: 5PM, 7PM
Dec 24: 1PM, 3PM, 5PM, 7PM & 11PM
Spring Hill Campus
Dec 23: 7PM
Dec 24: 1PM, 3PM, 5PM & 7PM